Futureproof your talent

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Written by Nabila Salem on 2 October 2020 in Features
Features

Nabila Salem looks at how management and strategies in talent have evolved due to COVID-19.

If your company is fortunate enough to still be hiring in the middle of a global pandemic, then you’ll probably find that you’re doing things a little differently these days. It’s become apparent that developing an effective hiring strategy is a crucial part of futureproofing your business, with recruitment processes and HR practices being pushed front and centre for organisations of every size.

Futureproofing at the forefront

While it might feel fairly easy to hire the talent you need right now, to truly compete in a post-Covid world, businesses need to approach their recruitment efforts with a keen eye on the future. Where do you need to be in the next few months, and where would you like your organisation to be in the next couple of years?

More importantly, what does that mean for new hires? What does it mean for your current employees, and for your learning and development team?

Without this kind of forward thinking, you’ll find yourself constantly replenishing your talent pool and using valuable resources at a time when you need to make every pound you spend work twice as hard. The people you hire to deal with today’s pain points may not have the skillset needed to roll out the business-critical projects you're planning in one or two years’ time.

Take the time to map out what a specific job role will look like not just now, but 12 months down the line, and hire someone who has all of those skills or can grow to meet those challenges in step with your wider plan.

To truly compete in a post-Covid world, businesses need to approach their recruitment efforts with a keen eye on the future

Otherwise, you could run the risk of recruiting a promising professional who’ll end up feeling out of their depth, or face a demotivated workforce that doesn’t have the tools or direction it needs to drive your business forward.

Creating a more flexible talent strategy

Covid and its aftermath has highlighted the need for flexibility that so far has only hovered in the background. There’s a distinct requirement for more fluidity in talent acquisition and an increased commitment to fostering the innovation needed to build a more agile business.

As the world continues to work from home, there’s a strong likelihood that remote working will remain a major part of the new normal, at least in some form or another, as we take our first tentative steps out of lockdown.

Previously, most organisations offered remote work as a much-desired perk, but almost overnight it’s become the lifeblood that’s kept businesses going through these challenging times. From a hiring perspective, this has allowed companies to consider and attract candidates from a much wider catchment area, and access a far richer talent pool.

Doing more for diversity

This shift to a remote-ready approach allows businesses to really focus on their diversity efforts and initiatives. Having this flexible infrastructure in place frees you up as an employer, allowing you to see applications from a much wider range of socio-cultural backgrounds.

 

For example, women who’ve previously been held back because they’re primary caregivers will now have more opportunities to achieve a work-life balance that really works for them, and you as an employer get to tap into a wealth of talent that’s previously been inaccessible. 

Similarly, not being bound by geographical constraints means you’ll be able to work with talent from different parts of the world, bringing not just their skills to the table, but enriching your team culturally too.

In the tech sector, where there is already a significant talent shortage, rethinking your hiring practices with this kind of flexibility in mind could be a real game changer. For many, this will be the key to creating a more inclusive, more diverse workforce; in my experience, that’s what really drives positive change in a business.

Upskilling out of the tech talent shortage

Hiring in the tech talent market remains highly competitive, perhaps more so given the rapid worldwide shift to remote working and increase in demand for the kind of cloud skills needed by logistics and healthcare companies – two of the industries actually experiencing a boom in the current complex climate.

Take Salesforce, for instance. Over the next four years, the world’s most popular CRM is expected to create around 4m new jobs. Factor in the tech skills shortage we’re dealing with today, and that’s truly a mind-boggling number. Where will that volume of talent come from?

Cross-skilling and upskilling has seen more people than ever looking to add new cloud skills to their resume, re-inventing themselves for the future of work. Additionally, a growing number of businesses are investing significantly in the training and certifications their existing employees need to upskill into new roles.

That’s a welcome sight, particularly in a situation where for most, budgets have been slashed in direct response to the crisis. Even in normal circumstances, there is a sense that spending money on upskilling staff isn’t exactly a top priority; however, what recent events have shown is that it needs to be. 

Investing in your employees’ professional development doesn’t just give you a more well-rounded and better skilled workforce – it’s also an integral part of building trust, fostering loyalty, and improving overall retention rates.

 

About the author

Nabila Salem is president of Revolent Group

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